After being bounced in the opening round of the Brisbane International, Canada’s teen sensation Denis Shapovalov rebounded to win his his first match of 2018 on Monday.
Shapovalov dominated qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. It took only 57 minutes for the 18-year-old Shapovalov to dispose of his Brazilian opponent, winning in dominating fashion.
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His efforts land Shapovalov a match with second-ranked Juan Martin del Potro in the Round of 32 on Wednesday.
This particular draw is quite familiar for Shapovalov, who rallied to beat Dutra Silva and then upset del Potro to begin his eye-opening run at the Rogers Cup in Montreal last summer. Shapovalov reached the semifinals at the Rogers Cup, beating Rafael Nadal along the way, announcing himself as one of the next big things in tennis in the process. Currently, ranked 50th in the world, Shapovalov surged to No. 49 in the ATP rankings after his success at the U.S. Open in early September.
A thing of beauty by @denis_shapo…😮#ASBClassic pic.twitter.com/ty3lVexRfM
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 8, 2018
The lefty with the big serve, who was named Canada’s male athlete of 2017 by the Canadian Press, opened up 2018 by losing to Kyle Edmund at Brisbane, Australia last week.
“It’s always a little bit tough at the start of the year, you don’t know where your game’s at,” explained Shapovalov. “But I’m confident in myself, and I’m sure I’m going to play great.”
Wednesday’s match is the second ever between Shapovalov and del Potro, the ATP’s 12th-ranked player in the world. del Potro, who received a first-round bye at the ASB Classic, has not played a match since late October, when he lost in three sets to John Isner in Paris.